Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!
Topics: What Caregiver Activities Have You Adopted for Your Loved One?
Today on my walk, birds caught my attention. May I reflect? Birds represent happy memories of days past. Memories of birds that would frequent (and still do) my backyard, with their agenda, even though I have no idea what their plan was, outside of feeding on the goodies I provide. So many birds would come and go without permission. They were chirping, flying, here and there. Most often, they appeared to aimlessly journey from one place to another. From tree branches to rooftops, from tops of cars to tops of light poles. From mailboxes to bushes, and so on.
I have shared in the past of my mother being a science teacher. We were exposed to nature, the solar system, reptiles, mammals, and the annual science projects in our house. We were well-rounded children growing up. Maybe that is why as adults, our professions ended up in science, medicine, and education. My mother was a fantastic teacher. She had lots of patience and enjoyed years of instructions with her scholars, neighborhood children, and her four girls. I suppose you are wondering where am I going with this blog? Well, I’m glad you asked!
Activities that engage our seniors and loved ones in the caregiving space are pivotal to their health and well-being. When my mother was able, we traveled to famous sights. Because she was a new resident of Texas, learning some Texas history was significant. On our list were the Alamo, NASA, Sam Houston National Forest in Huntsville, the Battleship Texas State Historic Site, to name a few.
Activities Matter in the Caregiver Space!
So, what activities do you do with your senior or loved one? Get out of the house, with safety in mind, always, if able. Consider fine-motor and gross-motor skills, like finger painting or picking up items from a tabletop or container. Urging eye-to-hand coordinated activities is a fantastic way to encourage engagement. Using household chores like folding washcloths and towels helps seniors feel they are participating in the household responsibilities. Also, consider the type of work or profession your loved one was doing and use activities from their work-life to keep them engaged. One year, from mommy’s wheelchair, she participated in making breakfast. She was the egg cracker, and so was the floor.
As mother’s movements slowed and her moving around was more challenging, we took up bird watching. Helped by my nephew, we erected a bird feeder outside her bedroom window. The hummingbird feeder was at the top of the window, and the seed feeder stood tall so she could see them from her bed when the birds landed to eat. Our favorite birds were the hummingbirds.
Since mommy’s passing in 2017, I still bird-watch. I have 8- bird feeders in my backyard. It is my happy place, and it helps me feel close to her. As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, know that encouraging activities with loved ones and seniors under your care will keep them participating as their wonder years encamp them. Take care and be well.